‘Being the Queen’, which aired yesterday on National Geographic, focuses on the monarch’s private and public life. It showed how the Queen is very aware of how she comes across whenever she meets someone.
Michael Mann, a former chaplain to Her Majesty between 1976 and 1989, explained the Queen is very careful not to come across as disapproving.
He said in the documentary: “I remember her once saying to me that ‘my father told me I must always remember that whatever I said or did to anyone, that they would remember it.'”
Mr Mann said he thought the Queen is therefore “very, very careful” about the impression she gives to people.
Tom Jennings, director of the hour-long documentary, said he found this aspect of the Queen “fascinating.”
The director added: “Whether you agree with her or not, she’s always very measured and well thought out.”
There is also etiquette to be observed by people who are meeting the Queen.
The Royal Family’s official website claims there are no “obligatory codes of behaviour” when meeting the monarch.
However, there are still traditions many people may wish to follow in such an event.
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For example, men are expected to bow their head when meeting the Queen, while for women the tradition is a small curtsey.
When addressing the Queen for the first time, she should be referred to as ‘Your Majesty’ and then as ‘Ma’am’ every time after.
It is also a breach of convention to touch the Queen unless she offers a handshake.
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This particular rule was breached in 2017 by Canadian Governor General David Johnston during an event to mark the 150th birthday of Canada.
A video shows Mr Johnston reaching out to support the Queen’s elbow as they walked down a carpeted flight of stairs.
The diplomat later told Canada’s CBC News: “It’s a little bit awkward, that descent from Canada House to Trafalgar Square, and there was carpet that was a little slippy, and so I thought perhaps it was appropriate to breach protocol just to be sure that there was no stumble.”
There are conventions for meeting other members of the Royal Family too – male royals are traditionally greeted as ‘Your Royal Highness’ and then ‘Sir’.
Female members of the Royal Family – apart from the Queen – should be addressed as ‘Your Royal Highness’ and then ‘Ma’am’.
It was revealed last week the Queen is not intending to return to Buckingham Palace for at least the remainder of the year.
The monarch is currently residing at the Royal Family’s Balmoral estate in Scotland.
She is expected to leave in October, although she will return to Windsor Castle rather than Buckingham Palace.
The Evening Standard reports the Queen’s absence from Buckingham Palace, which she left in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be the longest in her 68-year reign.